16 Weeks Pregnant
Learn what's happening in week 16 of pregnancy and find out how your baby is developing.
You've reached the end of your fourth month! In week 16 of pregnancy, your baby is the size of an avocado and is capable of making a few expressive frowns and squints. Your baby's little arms and legs are moving frequently and the eyesight is developing rapidly. You are probably feeling a lot better at this stage. Your energy levels have returned and some women will experience an increased sex drive due to pregnancy hormones or increased blood flow to the pelvic area.
What happens in your body in pregnancy week 16?
During the sixteenth week, you could feel as if your baby is taking over your body and mind. It can be really hard to concentrate on what needs to be done at work and home. At this stage of your pregnancy, it is really important to take a good care of yourself and do not take unnecessary risks which could harm yours or your baby's health. Pregnancy hormones can cause fluids to accumulate in your lungs, making it hard for you to breathe.
Changes in Your Body at 16 Weeks Pregnant
Sleeping on your belly is practically impossible at this stage, so many health care providers recommend sleeping on your left side. Sleeping on the left side is the best way to sleep in pregnancy, because it increases your circulation and minimizes your chances of getting swelling and varicose veins.
Your pelvic area is probably feeling heavy and firm and this is a result of the amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus. Your uterus is growing which means that you will be starting to show soon. Don't worry if you've gained weight, because it's completely normal to start gaining a pound per week.
At 16 weeks, you might still be prone to one of the most irritating symptoms of pregnancy, constipation. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy fruits and vegetables, and exercise to get rid of constipation.
You may also find your gums are sensitive and bleed more easily when you're brushing your teeth. Change your toothbrush regularly and brush twice a day, including the back of your tongue which is the ideal breeding ground for the cavity-causing bacteria. You should have at least one dental check-up during pregnancy to prevent gingivitis, inflammation of the gums, is one of the risk factors for premature labor.
Don't be afraid if you're experiencing an increase in your vaginal discharge. This is an annoying but completely normal and one of the most common pregnancy symptoms at 16 weeks. The vaginal discharge during pregnancy is usually milky white or clear, but unless it's foul smelling or accompanied by itching you don't need to be concerned.
Your Baby at 16 Week of Pregnancy
By the end of this week, your baby weighs about three to five ounces and he/she is four to five inches in length. Although the eyelids are still closed for protection, your baby is now able to make side-to-side movements with its eyes. He/she can also open its mouth and move its lips. Your baby has probably found its umbilical cord and is playing and holding on to it.
The muscles in your baby's back are gaining strength, so he/she can straighten out the head and neck even more. The skin of your baby is now translucent.
Pregnancy Week 16 Tips
As we mentioned before, you could experience constipation in the second trimester as the hormone progesterone loosens smooth muscles in your body including the gastrointestinal tract. This will slow down digestion and can lead to many side effects of pregnancy such as bloating, gas, burping, and constipation. Lots of fluids and fiber will help to make your stools softer and easier to pass. To get rid of stomach aches, you will have to avoid foods that make gas worse, such as dairy products, beans and cabbage.
Nausea and vomiting are gone, so now is the perfect time to focus on fitness and healthy eating. If you're craving sweet foods, reach for fresh fruits or yogurt instead of chocolate. Your little one will appreciate the extra protein and calcium. Walking and swimming are great workouts for pregnant women.